Justice for Indra Meghwal; Grounding Indian sports; Reining pandemics

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Opinion Watch

Indra Meghwal had every right to see India of ‘Amrit Kaal’.

The nine-year-old boy died three weeks after he was assaulted, hit on eyes and ears by his teacher in Rajasthan, merely because he drank water from a ‘matka’, meant for upper caste teachers.

In Indra Meghwal’s death, India is reminded amid jubilation of 75th anniversary of Independence that some parts of the country or certain sections of the society still live in medieval age.

The erring teacher Chail Singh, who allegedly gave grievous blows to the Dalit boy, must immediately face the full might of the law of the land.

The Pioneer has sought with an Edit to bring the issue to the national attention, lamenting lack of sensitivity on the parts of administration and society.

The daily has taken note of the anger within the Congress in Rajasthan, as one legislator and 12 councillors have quit the party in protest over the handling of the issue, which allegedly included pressure on boy’s family to keep quiet, while body was buried late in the night, and his relatives faced lathi-charge.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is indeed seen to have lost his grip over the law and order situation. That gives message to the lumpen elements to show finger to the rule of law.

Grounding Indian sports

Indian sports federations have over the decades been the resting places for politicians and judges.

People indeed dream that the all sportspersons would be like Neeraj Chopra, and win Gold in Olympics.

But the federations would remain the same – fiefdom of unworthy lots.

The Times of India and The Hindu have commented in their respective Edits on Fifa suspending the All India Football Federation.

The action has come on the ground that the federation is facing a third-party interference. This third party is the Supreme Court of India. Fifa has no tolerance for such top-down approach, being against the charters, added ToI.

From Cricket to Football, there’s no sports in India where there is no interference of the Supreme Court, while there’s no sports body which is not managed by politicians.

India may lose the right to host the U-17 Women’s World Cup in Football in October this year.

Similar fate awaits Hockey.

“India’s international friendlies, participation of its clubs in international competitions — Gokulam Kerala FC in the AFC Women’s Club Championship and ATK Mohun Bagan in the AFC Cup — and developmental funds from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation are all under threat,” commented TH in its Edit.

The daily questioned the role of the former federation chief Praful Patel, a well-known politician, in triggering the crisis by holding on to power well past the 12-year tenure sanctioned by the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011.

“Violation of norms concerning membership, age-limits and tenures as prescribed in the Sports Code is rampant in Indian sports; table tennis, hockey and judo have all been placed under court-appointed administrators in 2022,” added TH.

Reining pandemics  

Response to the Covid-19 pandemic wasn’t globally collective, while its outbreak was indeed linked to an inter-connected world.

The Covid-19 is not the only pandemic that the world has to battle, as a host of other viruses lurk in the environment.

The Economic Times has given an account of the challenges faced by an intergovernmental negotiating body (INB) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to firm up an agreement that would be legally binding on all the countries on pandemic prevention, preparation and response.

The poor countries were left askance during the Covid-19 pandemic for vaccines and medicines, while the developed world indulged in stock-piling of the essentials.

The INB seeks to wrap up discussions by May, 2024.

But the daily rightly reminds that the world is not yet ready to deal with profiteering pharma companies of the developed world, for there is no action yet on the proposal backed by India and South Africa on intellectual rights waivers for medicines and vaccines in times of global emergencies.

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